In 2011 we carried out two parallel and complementary surveys in an effort to map the current situation of Roma in Europe.
The second survey focused on the fulfillment of key fundamental rights and was carried out by the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).
The four organizations cooperated on methodologies and substance and both surveys had a common core of questions, making comparisons possible.
The first results of the data collection were released in May 2012 in the joint FRA/UNDP overview of the results, accompanied by:
- Opportunities for Roma inclusion – UNDP newsletter
- Toward an equal start: Closing the early learning gap for Roma children in Eastern Europe – World Bank
- Reducing vulnerability and promoting the self-employment of Roma in Eastern Europe through financial inclusion – World Bank
In the meantime, a team of experts was working on the in-depth analysis of the data.
From the very outset, the survey was supposed to be more than inputs for statistical indicators. Having a figure of the poverty rate or of the unemployment rate among Roma might be important – but even more important is to answer the crucial question: “What drives Roma unemployment and poverty?”
Answering this question is the first step to addressing the challenge of exclusion. What is even more important: answering this question is what makes the data and analysis not just policy relevant and policy-informing but also potentially policy shaping. (See: Research uptake: what is it and can it be measured?)
In depth analysis – you’re invited
The first paper covers the methodology used in the survey and provides insights on a number of broader issues related to sampling of Roma populations.
Nine thematic working papers on Roma inclusion are in the works, covering major areas and challenges of Roma inclusion. Given the strategic role of Roma civil society with Roma inclusion, the first thematic paper is on civil society (See: Bridging the gap: Involving Roma in civil society organizations).
Other papers are being finalized covering the following issues:
- Equality between men and women
- Migration to Western Europe
We may cover more topics, and we hope that the series won’t be limited to just analysis of the data set (although its richness provides a lot of potential in that regard).
We’ll be releasing one paper each week between now and mid-March in the run up to a conference on Roma inclusion (taking place in Brussels and in a Roma populated municipality in Central Europe).
The analyses that we’ll be sharing in the coming months are not only to advance discussions at the conference, but to open up discussions for any and all who are interested in participating. (We definitely don’t want to be doing development research in an ivory tower!)